Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bond chat and youth profiles: Get ready for voting

The Observer is hosting a live online chat with key players in the Nov. 5 bond referendum at noon Thursday.

We'll have Associate Superintendent Guy Chamberlain from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools,  Public Information Officer Jeff Lowrance from Central Piedmont Community College and Assistant County Manager Dena Diorio from Mecklenburg County available to answer questions about the CMS and CPCC bonds and how the county will pay for the projects.  You can log on to from noon to 1 p.m. to post questions or follow the chat.  If you've got a question that might take some research,  post it here and I'll forward it to the right people so they can come prepared.

We have stories,  maps and other resources related to the bond votes available at the Observer's voter guide page as well.

Students with GenerationNation,  a youth civics and leadership group, have also posted responses to questionnaires for school board and municipal candidates.  There are other candidate surveys out there,  including the Observer's,  but the young people asked some interesting questions.  For instance,  they asked all candidates about how CMS,  local and state governments should work together.  They got a lot of predictable  "collaboration is important"  answers,  but Republican mayoral candidate Edwin Peacock suggested holding Charlotte City Council meetings in schools around the city.

"Start a tradition  where at least 7  City Council meetings each year are being held away from the government center and at a CMS school in one of our 7 Council districts,"  Peacock suggested.  "Each district representative would recognize excellent teachers and students and begin to build that relationship between the city and her schools.  Schools belong to

Instead of asking for political party,  GenerationNation asked for  "political viewpoint,"  intentionally inviting responses that don't fit the obvious labels.  Most gave the party labels anyway,  but they got a few interesting answers,  such as "fiscally and socially responsible which would categorize my views as moderate"  from Democratic mayoral candidate Patrick Cannon,  "speaking for all people"  from unopposed school board candidate Joyce Waddell and "Unitarian"  from school board candidate Queen Elizabeth Thompson.

Naturally,  I was especially interested in another question:  Favorite news source.  It probably does tell you something that school board member Tom Tate cites NPR while Paul Bailey,  a candidate in a different district board race,  cites Fox News.  The Observer got a few mentions,  and quite a few cited  "the internet."


Wiley Coyote said...

I don't see anyone on the list who opposes the bonds being part of the bond Q&A lovefest....

But then again, the Observer has never been known as a fair and balanced news source. Maybe that's why you only received a "few mentions".

Anonymous said...

True, Wiley. These are the folks who have the authority to put the bonds before voters; we're giving them the opportunity to explain and justify that request to supporters, skeptics and anyone who's just trying to make up their mind. I've emailed Tom Davis to make sure he knows about this and can get the word out to opponents who want to weigh in; I'll do the same for the supporters.

There's a bit of irony to your grousing. The "Vote Yes" folks have money to spread their message. But am I wrong in thinking the main public forum for opponents to air their issues is the Observer's online comments?

Anonymous said...

You mean the CO comments that are mostly censored, with the exception of a few blogs which are still open for honest discussion and debate (on occasion)?s

Yeah, I'll put my money on the folks with the most money getting their word out best.

Well, thats my 10 cents worth...

Wiley Coyote said...


The bonds will most likely pass mainly due to demographic and political shifts within the city/county.

My point is that SPARK nor SMART have a place at the table to offer a dissenting position during this discussion to respond to people who do support the bonds, but want to know more as to why these groups oppose them.

I've never taken for granted being able to post my opinions on your blog, which if the Observer pages lockdown is any indication, comments here could be eliminated very soon.

Tom Davis said...

Wiley makes a good point. This is a ONE WAY communication and not conducive to fact sharing for both sides. This is not "solving it together" but just another attempt to communicate one side, just as the literature was sent home in children's book bags. SMART/SPARK will participate in dialogue, but not this type of forum.

Anonymous said...

As Tom can tell you, Wiley, I've been in communication with him and the other SPARK/SMART leader urging them to comment and respond. If they choose not to and then complain that it was one-sided, well, I guess they'll have the satisfaction of self-fulfilling their prophecy. Same for you or any other bond opponent -- your choice as to whether to participate.

For what its worth said...

Wiley, this is pretty much the same approach at suppressing the "questioners" like I faced when I asked to have the oppostion also represented when the city came and presented why to support continuing the transit tax. One of our corporate officers called my manager about my request. He told me he clearly felt she was doing so to "quiet" me by threatening my job.

Anonymous said...

I like the student candidate profiles. Tells me more about the candidates than the other sources. Well done!

Anonymous said...

Standartd procedure for the Observer to promote the pro-govermnent/liberal position on an important matter, and to avoid dissent. The most glaring evidence of this is the fact that it has been decades since the Observer had even one Republican on its entire editorial board.

Wiley Coyote said...


I will be participating tomorrow when I go vote and select the "NO" button on bonds.

Anonymous said...

Ann, what does Edwin's comment have to do with a bond proposal? Don't buy into the it won't raise your taxes theme being spewed by the PR campaign. If the county can support the bonds then they can support to lower our taxes. Wake up how in the world do you think the bond package could be supported ! Face reality and let's hope the voters like myself will vote with some common sense. Vote No Bonds ! Keith W. Hurley

Anonymous said...

Ann the answer to your question is as follows. With my recent tax increase is how they will pay for the bonds. It's really very simple if your a tax payer in this county. This is why I strongly wish more people vot no on the bond package. CMS at this point if they told the truth about closing schools and the leases they produced should be swimming in money. Of course this is not the truth , but that is what CMS put out two years ago. Show me the money!!

Tina Wickerburg said...

Wiley/Tom Wickerburg/Kwazie/Apollo/Robert-
The good news for the Pro-Bond crowd is that even though you post using numerous names--you only get one vote.
Still waiting for those hundreds of "anonymous" SPARK folks to start showing up around town........ Tom Davis and his sidekick Mast seem to be the only actual ones in the "group"
Early Voting starts today- I hope people will call their County Commissioners and ask why they ALL support the bonds- even normal budget buster Bill James.

Wiley Coyote said...

That would be "Wickenburg" thank you very much.

Regarding the BOCC, I could care less if they all support the bonds.